In Born to Blog: Building Your Blog for Personal and Business Success One Post at a Time , Mark Schaefer and Stanford Smith describe the “blogging death spiral”:
- Recognizing that blogging is good for your website and your company, you begin blogging for your business.
- Without knowing what you’re doing (and the book is certainly an excellent starting point if this describes you), you post mediocre stuff.
- You get little to no results.
- Doing things badly with no clear benefit is discouraging, so you do it less consistently, less frequently, and just as badly. From a couple of thinly disguised sales-pitches a week you descend to a pointless story about a company party once a month.
- You decide that blogging doesn’t work and scrap the company blog.
We’ve seen this before. Often companies want us to build their website with a blog, because they fully intend to write regularly and harvest all the benefits of having a company blog. Soon it’s gone… or lingering on hopelessly on their website, making them look less on top of things than they should. How can you avoid this death spiral?
The first, obvious answer is to hire a blogger. If you wouldn’t sing your own commercial jingles, then there’s no reason to think you should write your own blog.
But let’s suppose that you really want to write your own company blog. You’re a bootstrapping kind of company (so are we — we get that), your product hasn’t gone national yet, or — and here’s the best reason — you honestly like to write and are willing to put in some time.
How can you avoid the death spiral?
- Decide on a schedule. In our experience, regular posting is important, and twice a week is about the minimum that gets significant results. We moved all our blogging clients to three times a week this year, because that seems to be the sweet spot for results and cost.
- Make sure you have a CMS that your bloggers can actually use with confidence. We recommend WordPress, but if you have something your staff are already accustomed to, you might want to go with that.
- Put one person in charge of editing and making sure the blog gets posted. If no one is specifically accountable, it may not get done.
- Build an editorial calendar. We use Edit Flow, a WordPress plugin, but a white board or a spreadsheet can also work.
- Get in the habit of capturing great blog post ideas. When an event, new product, exciting piece of industry news, or important idea arises, note it on your editorial calendar. This way, there will always be ideas available when people have time to write.
If these steps don’t work for you, hire someone. In fact, you can hire Haden Interactive. We are accepting new blogging clients. Use the simple contact form below to start the conversation.